Friday, October 02, 2009
The high-tech, Asian and diverse Canadian city on the Pacific: Vancouver
Vancouver is named after Captain George Vancouver, a British explorer. The name Vancouver itself originates from the Dutch "van Coevorden", denoting somebody from (in Dutch: "van") Coevorden, an old city in The Netherlands.
As of July 2009, the city's estimated population was 615,473 and that of the metropolitan area, 2,318,200.
Vancouver is ethnically diverse, with 52% of city residents having a first language other than English.
Vancouver was first settled by Europeans in the 1860s as a result of immigration to the Colony of British Columbia caused by the Fraser and Cariboo Gold Rushes, though only a very few settled in what would become the city of Vancouver. The city's roots are based in logging and the founding of a large lumber mill, which gave birth to Gastown.
The Port of Vancouver became internationally significant as a node in the global trade network of the British Empire with the combined steamship and railway of the Canadian Pacific Railway shortening shipping times from the Orient to London.
Today its second largest industry, after forestry, is tourism, and it has become the third-largest film production centre in North America after Los Angeles and New York City, earning it the nickname Hollywood North.
Vancouver has been ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world and is a destination for many international conferences and events. The 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Paralympics will be held in Vancouver and nearby Whistler, a mountain town 125 km north of the city.